Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weekend Things

I have had a great couple of weekends! I'm sure that is partly due to the gorgeous weather we've been having (it's been perfect. I'm talking Toy Story style clouds in the sky and everything) And partly lots of husband time and seeing friends for the first time in like 2 months. A recap:

• Me and Josh went for a picnic! We haven't done that in almost 3 years amd neither of us can figure out why. It was so nice. We were just sitting in the couch trying to decide what to do for lunch when the though popped into my mind. I asked josh what he though and he was all about it. We didn't have much in the way of sandwich fixins so I threw some fruit and pop chips into our basket ( an actual picnic basket if picked up a garage sale!) and headed to subway for sandwiches. Kind of cheating but oh well. We went to the park where we met and spread our blanket up on a hill and under a tree. It was glorious. We ate, people watched, napped, and talked. The perfect date in my opinion. 

• We went to see the new X-man movie with a group of friends and then headed to STEAK N' SHAKE afterwards. For those of you that don't know, Steak N' Shake is open until like 3 am and is therefore teenage central. We were severely outnumbered but it was fun in a nostalgic kind of way. It made this 26 year old feel young and reallyyyyy old at the same time. Hey, it was nice being out past 10 pm. 

• One of our friends informed is that there would be a huge meteor shower happening Saturday night so me and Josh decided to sit on the roof and watch. He had me go up first and told me he'd be right back. He came out with blankets and candles. So cute. We only saw one shooting star but that was enough for me *swoon*

• We had a bonfire at our house. I love doing this. I get all the food ready while Josh cuts the grass and sets out all the chairs and whatnot. It was just a few of out closest which makes it so comfortable and easy. I purposely left my phone in the house so I could thoroughly enjoy the stars and the friendship surrounding me. It was wonderful. After everyone left me and Josh put down a blanket by the fire and and just talked. It was one of those dream talks. The kind where you just spill your heart and soul and all your aspirations for the future. Loved it.

• I made lots of time for zee physical fitness this weekend. Me and my friend hit the fitness track at 6:30 on Friday morning and it was so much better jogging while watching the sunrise as opposed to the ab circuit at PF. I mean, I still love my gym membership but this was refreshing. I ran outside two more times which is something I'm working on. I can run like the energizer bunny on a treadmill but I really want to be able to run a 5k by the end of the summer. Josh even got on board! He went for a late night run and it was actually pretty romantic. It was so quiet, just the frogs, our footsteps, and breathing. And this amazing cloud that lit up the entire time. 

• I've started painting and I have found it to be remarkably therapeutic! Me and a friend had a crafting afternoon and I had had painting at the back of my mind so I went to Michaels, bought ALL the Martha Stewart colors, and went to town. It makes me happy. 

• I finished the Divergent series. I can't even...

• My husband and I and a couple friends decided to visit a new local church and we loved it! It's very small but very personal which is something we've been sorely lacking at our current church. I'm extremely shy and I need people to want to get to know me or else it doesn't happen. I'm trying to work on that but as it was the people at this church were coming to me, and I really appreciated it. Also, there's a fantastic BBQ joint right next door and this happened. 

• I went on bike ride with a friend that turned out to be like finding treasure! We rode up to a familiar park only to find that they had created the most magical 13 mile bike path behind it! It was all trees, sunset, and wildflowers. Gorgeous. 

• Memorial Day! We didn't have plans until late so we slept in, got lunch, walked around a park then went to my grandparents for a little cookout where my dad joined us. He was in the Air Force and is now in the National Guard so we like to make it special for him. Although, he is on the verge of taking his fit test soon so I brought roasted veggies and those healthy brownie bites made from dates which he dubbed downies. After that we went to a friends for the second bonfire that weekend. A perfect ending. 

And now it's Wednesday. And it's raining.  Welcome back real life. Here's hoping for another great weekend! 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Catch up

Life had been pretty good lately! Here's a bit about what's been filling my days. 

1) Garage saling. I live for garage sales. It has been deeply ingrained in me by my mother and grandmother to the  worriment of my husband. There are a few sales that we wait for every year and it's quite the event. Well, for old ladies like me that is. I went with my friend this year and we bumped into my nana a couple times during the hunt ;) I took home a purse, 3 dvd's, a shirt, 6 books, Christmas and fall decorations, and a galvanized tub for $22! It's wonderful I tell you. 
2) I started a 31 day scripture challenge on Instagram hosted by the lovely Kristin Schmucker. Everyday you take a picture and write about what you've been reading. I've loved being encouraged by all the other photos I see as well as being held accountable to be in His word everyday. It's been quite a blessing thus far. 
3) I started an herb garden and I just love it. It has satisfied my gardening bug enough to last me until the weather really warms up. I plan on doing a vegetable garden this year and have already planted 5 raspberry bushes, a bing cherry tree, and have a random strawberry patch coming in nicely. My little planter is already looking a little wild so I need to start actual using the herbs instead of just smelling them ;)
4) I made homemade whipped cream to put on my strawberries on a whim. It was wonderful. That is all. 
5) We got to babysit my in-laws beagle, Sophie. I call her little watermelon because, well, she is very reminiscent of one. She's as sweet as can be and was a joy to have around the house even for a few hours. We went for a walk and she just snuggled on down with us until it was time for her to leave. 
6) My friend and I went to Royal Oak to have lunch and do a little browsing. We ended up at a great restaurant called Pronto and we both ordered the vegetarian farmers market sandwich and it was fantastic! Herbed cream cheese. Mmmm. We also hit up trader joes (my first time!) and I spent way to much money...a comom issue with customers, I hear. 
Until next time!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sugar is the Devil

So I've been doing pretty good about my new way of eating. I went 4 weeks with absolutely NO sugar. Vegetables, meat (organic), eggs (organic), and fruit (only low sugar, so basically berries). It was amazing. My skin was clearer, I wasn't bloated, and I could wake up at 5:30 to hit the gym with no problem. All good. Fast forward to last Sunday. My dad was coming for a visit so I decided to make him a good dinner: lasagna and chocolate cake. I ate well all day and was feeling fine. We had dinner around 7 and I had a small helping of both. No big deal! I was still feeling good and knew I'd be right back on track the next day. NOT SO MUCH. I woke up the next morning feeling like I got hit by a truck. I was exhausted, light headed,  nauseous, had a runny nose, and my contacts felt like they were super glued to my eyes all day long. Not to mention the loooovely mood it put me in. I mean all the above sypmtoms plus 11 hours of preschool are enough to make any person crabby but it was more that. I just felt like crying. I got home and just crashed. The only perk was that it got me a bunch of extra foot rubbing and arm tickling from Josh. 

You would think I would have earned my lesson right? Well not I. The lasagna/cake incident occurred on Monday and on Wednesday I got a couple very sweet teacher appreciation gifts, one being a planter filled with Hershey kisses. One of my weaknesses to be sure. This will demonstrate the depth of my will power which is none. None will power. I mean c'mon! I'm a good teacher darn it! And a hungry one at that. I deserve theseeeeee. I did have smarts enough to pass the candy around the daycare first so that I wasn't left with 5lbs of chocolate but still. 10 kisses later and I was out. It happened quite a bit faster this time and right in the middle of my shift. Exhaustion, runny nose and eyes, nausea, and just a general fuzziness. To be honest, I don't really know what to call it. I don't know if it's just an intolerance to sugar? An allergy? Whatever it is it's not good and I don't want to feel like that anytime soon, ESPECIALLY since it's mostly under my control. 

That being said it's still really hard. I'm supposed to be getting a laparoscopy soon to see if I have endometriosis. Regardless I know that I have PCOS. Right now those two things to be the most bothersome. Last night even though I'd been feeling a little better (recovering from the sugar come) I started to get some pretty bad pelvic pain out of no where and just started to cry. It wasn't that it hurt that bad, it was that it feels like there's always something. I NEVER feel good and Its very disconcerting to know that even my hormones are being effected and there may not be much I can do about it. I know that by eating better and living a healthy lifestyle I can go control a lot of what's going on with me and I know it's true. When I was doing really well I felt a lot better, but it wasn't completely gone. Whatever is giving me issues besides the PCOS is making things difficult.  Maybe it's endometriosis maybe it isn't but whatever it is, it's making me feel like it's getting in the way of my progress with PCOS and fibromyalgia and all the other sugar related issues I have. Ugh. This was quite the rant but I feel better having got it off my chest. I know that I can do better and I know my Jesus will get me through the difficult days. He already has. And even though I just listed off all the negative from the last few days, there has been plenty of joy mixed in and plenty of love as well. I've been back on track the past two days and am feeling better already. I'm gonna keep it up! I know this will be a long road but I've got a wonderful family, friends, and great God to her me though! 

Love & Prayers,

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Hillary Trip

My little sister is all grown up! At least it feels that way now. She just rented her very first apartment and it is adorable! She found a little studio above a deli in the downtown area where she lives and oh my goodness. It's just so cute. Not only is the apartment great but the area is too! There's a great deli and bakery right beneath her, a coffee house a 2 minute walk away, tons of little boutiques, and a quaint little park within walking distance. 

A little background: me and my sister are extremely close. Like we have out own sister language kinda close. So, consequently, when she moved 7 hours away last year it was a big adjustment. We went from seeing each other practically everyday to 4 times a year. Boo.  

Thus, the long awaited Hillary Trip. I was beyond excited to not only see my sweet seester, gorge on all the good food, watch Sherlock together ( which I still haven't finished so shhhh 😉), but to see what she had done with her new place. When me and my husband moved into our house I consulted her on pretty much every decorating decision and with good reason. She has a wonderful eye for decorating and is able to do so on a limited budget. I knew she would do the same in her new home and she did! 

We started for WI on Friday. I drove there with my dad and it was so nice having some quality daddy/daughter time to catch up. When we arrived she was standing in front of her place waiting to welcome us. She took us up right away to 147 1/2 {platform 9 3/4 anyone?}, up the poky stair case, and into her little home. 

Once we unloaded all out luggage we headed  downstairs to grab lunch at the Deli, which was fantastic. 

Afterwards we decided to explore the city and ended up at a cozy little coffee house and stayed long enough to finish our 3 cafe au laits. From there we circled around to the bakery by her apartment and ordered strawberry rhubarb bars, turtle brownies, and bread pudding to go.

We took out goodies back upstairs and relaxed for awhile before me and Hillary decided to hit up a couple of stores and pay a visit to my mom. Pier 1 was our first stop and I was able to buy her the house warming gift I had planned on and found it on clearance to boot! It was a little hanging pot rack, perfect for her kitchen. After we saw my mom and my baby sister Bliss, we ran to the store to grab snacks and did some good ole' fashion boy watching ;) When we got home we decided to make a couple Pinterest recipes for dinner. We made million dollar spaghetti and dole whips, both of which were delicious. 

We ended the night by watching the firrst episode of Sherlock. Getting ready for bed was quite a feat. The daybed, trundle, and cot made for a very cozy sleeping arrangement but that was part of the fun. 

The next day my sister had to work and my dad went around doing dad things. He bought her an adorable little bistro set for her kitchen and put it together then went to work on her car. 

I took that time to spend time with my mom and little sister. We had a lovely afternoon just relaxing and enjoying each other's company. That evening we drove to my aunts house to meet her newly adopted daughter from Haiti! I was so thrilled to meet Anaika. We have been praying for this little gis arrival for three years and it was such a blessing to finally meet her. She is a precious, happy, playful 6 year old who spreads joy wherever she goes. How appropriate that her middle name is Joy :) 

One of my moms nicknames for me is Gita. She called me that one time over dinner and it stuck. Anika loved it and giggled every time she said it. Since then she keeps asking when Gita is coming over and I can't wait to see her again! In the mean time I decide to send her a sticker book and mail her different stickers each month. I loved having a sticker book (and loved putting it together probably more than I should have) and I hope she will too! 

That evening me and Hill stayed up into the wee hours just talking and laughing while dad snored on his cot. The next day me, Hill, and dad went to a really interesting little cafe calls the Cafe de Art. The building was so pretty and the food was fantastic. I got the Mediterranean breakfast sandwich, dad got the European, and my sister got the home-made yogurt with granola. All the meals came with a lovely salad topped with oranges and pepper rubbed apples and huge cups of coffee. 

The whole time we were there my dad kept asking "is that a hipster?" He find the whole culture fascinating but is very confused as to what makes a person a hipster. We had fun filling him in ;)  Later that day my dad went back to car/ apartment maintenance (what a sweet dad!) and I went with my mom and sister. We did a Target run and some shoe shopping and that evening everyone met up for dinner at Panera. 

The next morning my dad went shopping and me and Hill slept in and had a late breakfast of waffles as we sat at her new breakfast nook by the window. 

 (The Broughton girls first thing in the morning. She would be so upset 😂😱)

We eventually got ready, cleaned up the place, and added a few finishing touches. We hung a few pictures together, and she drew a pretty flower border above the sink ( the landlord actually thought to use chalkboard paint which we thought was very Pinteresty for a 40 year old man).

 We were able to take her to work and said our goodbyes there. I had a wonderful trip and can't wait to see her again this summer! Until then we'll just have to continue communication through our preferred method...memes ;)

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's Friday!

1) I came down with some kind of cold or virus this week and had a pretty bad sore throat. I desperately wanted something cold ( sore throats are the WORST in my opinion. I'd actually take throwing up to a sore throat and I'm a complete baby about it) and I'd normally run to the store and grab a box of popsicles BUT I wanted to stay on track with my healthy eating SO...I made some! They we'd so easy. All I did was purée different. Fruits and pour them into Popsicle molds. And yes those are piggy and kitty Popsicle molds. Young at heart ;) I did strawberry, pineapple, kiwi, and raspberry. Delicious. 

2) Me and my friend Lindsay grabbed a couple passion iced teas from starbucks and went to a local park to walk, talk, and just catch up. As we made our way around we noticed all these machines stationed around the park. They installed outdoor exercise equipment! I love it! There's about 10 different machines working everything from abs to arms and there's even a elliptical-esque type thing as well. 
3) I haven't mentioned this on the blog yet but I'm an Ambassador for Noonday Collection. Noonday provides pathways out of poverty for artisans all over the world by providing dignified jobs at livable wages, emergency assistance, scholarship programs and more. They do this by creating a market place for the beautiful jewlery and accesories the artisans create.This company began as a fundraiser for an adoption (and continues to be used as such) and has grown into so much more and is truly doing a great amount of good around the world! I became an ambassador last year but due to some unforeseen circumstances was not able to devote as much time to it as I'd planned. I'm happy to say that I'm back in the game and ready to tell these artisan's stories! My samples came in this week and I've partnered with some wonderful women who truly have a heart for what Noonday is doing and want to spread the word by hosting shows in their home. I'm so excited!!! To learn more about Noonday please click on the link below :)

4) I have been really inspired by Carrie Grace on IG @carolinegshop lately. Her mission is to POUR out the love on people and she does it so well! She's one of those people who you can just see that her whole heart is in it and I want to be like that. I've been praying for God to open my eyes to the opportunities all around me to show love to people and praise Jesus, He has! I don't say this to toot my own horn but to just tell you how amazing it feels to know that you brightened someone's day, that you made it a little easier TODAY. It may not be big and it really doesn't have to be but  it can mean so much to that person. 

Me and my husband saw someone we knew today and asked them how they were doing expecting to hear the usual "oh fine" but instead the sweet lady just poured out the burdens she was carrying and I could see the weariness in her eyes. I could feel the spirit say, this is it! DO something. We gave her a hug and said our goodbys and promptly set out to create a cheer up package. We found Godiva chocolates, a candle, pretty hand lotions, and a Chapstick and packaged it up pretty. I had found a flower on the ground while we were shopping for plants and stuck it in the bag as well. We grabbed a diet coke (her favorite) and headed back to the store to drop it off. We she saw us come in, with  
bag in hand, and her face just lit up. It was just wonderful. I never want to get so occupied with my own life and problems that I forget to look for the hurting around me and make it a priority to do something, even if it's just a smile or a hug. Let them know you care. 
5) I started a 31 day scripture challenge on IG yesterday and I'm so excited to see where the month of May will lead me! It was amazing what God revealed to my heart in just one day let alone 31! I hope this will create the habit of spending time in God's word everyday, even if it's only for five minutes. If you want to follow along, the hashtag is #lampandlight and was created by @kristinschmucker. 

Hope you all had a wonderful week! I'd love to hear about them :)